The United States flag flies at half-staff in honor of Patriots Day while a wedding ceremony is performed on the Ponderosa lawn for Nathan and Jocey, two Hume Lake staff members.
At first glance, there is a strong contrast between the symbolism of the flag and of the wedding. While the flag at half-staff represents sorrow, loss, and death, the wedding celebrates joy, unity, and life. However further reflection on this contrast transforms it into a homogeneous picture of the cycle of life, sacrifice, death, and new life.
Undeniably the half-staff flag represents death, but it also represents life’s continued triumph over death. In the same way, Christ’s death and triumphant resurrection is both the foundation for and model of Biblical Christian marriage. Deep personal sacrifice and death to the idea of self is at the core of an intimate relationship with Jesus as well as with our spouse.
So what better day to fly a flag at half-staff? It’s a day to remember the people who died in the attacks ten years ago and it’s a day to remember those who live on, keeping their memories alive. It’s a day to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have died and those who live their life protecting our country here at home and abroad. It’s a day to remember Christ’s death on our behalf, his resurrection, and his offer of new life in Him. And it’s a day when the groom promises to give himself up for his bride and she promises to submit to him.
The powerful juxtaposition of life and death are ever-present and should not be viewed as contrasting ideas but as a simultaneous acknowledgment of death and grateful celebration of life.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”